Peterson's on Morrison may soon lose its home

Peterson's on Morrison, the convenience store on SW Morrison and 10th, is a downtown fixture

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- One of downtown Portland's most established storefronts may be required to leave its iconic location for good.

Peterson's on Morrison, the convenience store on SW Morrison and 10th, has been in the same place since 1984. But the building it's in will soon undergo renovations, and everyone in it will be evicted by mid-January.

"Every tenant in the building has to be out," said Doug Peterson, the store's owner. "And they say there's no guarantees you can come back."

Businesses like Peterson's might not be allowed back because the Portland Development Commission – now called Prosper Portland – wants to prioritize diversity downtown. That could mean a preference towards giving the space to businesses run by minorities.

"Nothing has been set in stone as far as who is in and who is out," said Prosper Portland spokesman Shawn Uhlman. "But I think it's certainly something we want to make clear, that we're looking to create a vibrant mix of tenants. But no, no decisions have been made."

Peterson's has created a campaign to pressure Prosper Portland to keep the convenience store where it is.

"We have petitions," said Peterson. "Over 1,300 people have signed this petition."

Peterson presented that petition to the city council Wednesday morning.

In addition to the signatures, Peterson has collected a few key endorsements. City commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Dan Saltzman have expressed support for the store, writing a letter to Prosper Portland urging them to sign a long-term lease with Peterson's.

That's not something Prosper Portland has so far expressed interest in committing to. Rather, Uhlman says, they're keeping options open for now.

"[Peterson's] will certainly be considered, just like all the other tenants could be as well," said Uhlman.

When those renovations begin in January – expected to be complete by late next year – the changes to the building will also result in the downsizing of many of its spaces. So even if Peterson's does retain its storefront, it will likely be a slightly smaller one.


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